I’ve always been curious about tilt-shift lenses, so when Lensrentals had a 20% off all rentals offer, and I just happened to have a $25.00 credit on my account with them I jumped on the opportunity to rent the Canon 90mm 2.8 TS-E. And I absolutely fell in love with it after the first five minutes of playing around with it. I fell in love to the point that I am seriously thinking of selling three of the primes I currently own – 50mm, 85mm, and 135mm – just to afford purchasing this one. It gives beautiful results without the tilting and shifting (and rotating), it focuses really close, and then there is the world of creative possibilities the tilt-shift function opens up. Admittedly, it has a pretty steep learning curve – by that I mean to learn to really understand what you are doing with it to deliberately be able to create the effect you are after – but it is so much fun. This is the very first shot I took with it; well, probably not the very first shot, but it’s the very first shot that I took with it that I didn’t delete. I took it in the car of my oldest while waiting for my younger daughter to get out of school. I love how the focus sort of “slices through her body and face” vertically, leaving the sides of her nicely blurred. Ok, it’s no masterpiece, and the composition is off, but I still like the image.
(90mm, ISO 800, f/2.8, 1/100 sec)
Just to show the lens’ creative capabilities in therms of focus shift here’s another image I took about 15 minutes later in the car while waiting for the green light. It’s sort of a meaningless image in and of itself, but it shows really well how the lens enables you to choose your focal points in a way that no regular lens can. For the record, I deliberately distorted the first part of the car’s licence plate, otherwise it’s more or less straight out of the camera with only minor adjustments to contrast.
(90mm, ISO 250, f/3.2, 1/400 sec)